Niagara Escarpment
Part of a 700-mile-long Erosional Feature

The Niagara Escarpment is a cliff that runs almost continuously from Wisconsin and along the Door Peninsula, through Michigan and Ontario and to New York. It is responsible form hundreds of waterfalls, the most famous of which is Niagara Falls.

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Niagara Escarpment is shown in red.

Originally, Niagara Falls cascaded over the Niagara Escarpment at Queenston Heights near Lewiston, New York, seven miles downstream from the current falls. At the current rate of erosion, it will take about fifty thousand years for the falls to retreat as far as Lake Erie, after which there will be no major falls along the Niagara River, only a series of steep rapids.

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Niagara Falls consists of American Falls in New York and Horseshoe Falls in Ontario.

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American Falls (Photo by Stan Shebs)

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Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls (Photo by PC Wiles)

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The Erie Canal passes over the Niagara Escarpment at Lockport, New York, the city named for the famous Flight of Five, five locks, closely spaced, that raise and lower barges over the escarpment.